From The Guardian:
A group of incoming Republican congresspeople intends to counter the "radical agenda" of the Democratic party, with the self-professed goal of becoming the Republican party's alternative to "the Squad" – a group of progressive congresswomen of color including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar.
Calling themselves the Freedom Force, the Republicans say they will combat the "evil" of socialism and Marxism.
"We love our nation. This group will be talking against and giving a contrast to the hard left. We have the Freedom Force versus Squad; we have a group of people who believe in our country, believe in God, family, respect for women and authority, and another group who hates everything I just mentioned," the Utah congressman-elect Burgess Owens told the Fox News host Laura Ingraham, speaking as a representative of the Freedom Force.
Coincidentally, I spent my Thanksgiving weekend bingeing on some old Chris Claremont (and later, Louise Simonson) X-Men comics from the mid-80s. One of the main storylines that carries through the 40+ issues of Uncanny X-Men and X-Factor that I read involves—you guessed it!—Freedom Force. Beginning in Uncanny X-Men #199, the shape-shifting mutant anti-hero Mystique blackmails the US government into pardoning her and the other members of her on-the-nose named Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, and then granting them legal authority as the rebranded Freedom Force. During this time, the so-called Freedom Force tries to frame the X-Men for several international terrorist attacks while Magneto is on trial at the UN, and even ignores the Mutant Massacre—literally a genocide of ugly mutants who live underground—just so they can persecute the X-Men and X-Factor (who, at the time, are the original 5 X-Men, pretending to be bigoted mutant hunters as a PR deflection so they can help mutants, because comics).
In defense of Utah congressman-elect Burgess Owens, "Freedom Force" without context sounds like a pretty uncontroversial name. But that's ironically what the X-Men comics were counting on some 35 years ago, too.
It is worth noting: Owens is a Black man. The rest of his "Freedom Force" includes Nicole Malliotakis (NY), Michelle Steel (CA), Stephanie Bice (OK), Victoria Spartz (IN), Carlos Giménez (FL), Maria Elvira Salazar (FL), and Byron Donalds (FL). In their defense, this is a diverse group. Then again, so was Mystique's Freedom Force, which included her wife, Destiny; the non-mutant Spider-Woman Julia Carpenter; the obese Texan mutant known as the Blob; as well as 3 immigrants: Pyro from Australia, Avalanche from Greece, and Spiral from the Mojoverse. And despite that range of diversity, they were still literally the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.
The 'Freedom Force': Republican group takes on the Squad and 'evil' socialism [Poppy Noor / The Guardian]
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